Kenya Drought Update 19-25 Jun 1997

The week was hot in most areas except Wajir which reported some showers. Livestock are in good condition although pastures are dwindling, while food and live animal prices remained high.

Rains have subsided resulting in wilting and drying of pastures and water pans. Water in reservoirs is in use. A second consignment of 7 metric tones of UNIMIX was received in Magadi, Kajiado, and plans are underway to transport it to distribution centers.

The week was dry and temperatures were high, although clouds dominated most afternoons. Forage and browse is decreasing in quality and quantity with approximately 80% of the grass biomas yellowed up. Acacia trees are starting to pod.

Water is still available in hand dug wells on river beds, and the two seasonal rivers are following intermittently. Livestock are in good condition and meat from shoats is readily available.

In the irrigation schemes and river beds, sorghum, maize and vegetables are growing although some are showing water stress. Most markets are short of cereals but milk is readily available both in the homes and markets.

The weather is generally hot with a few showers in Wajir town. Forage and browse are still available as well as water and hence animals are in good condition. As a result, livestock prices are high and few of them are offered for sale. Goats are selling for Ksh 1,000 (US$ 18.2); sheep Ksh 800 (US$ 14.5); camels Ksh 7,500 (US$ 136.4); and cows Ksh 7,000 (US$ 127.3).

Farmers have already started harvesting and selling water melons, kales and spinach. The project assisted farmers with 200g of kale and 100g of spinach seeds during the week.

Construction of a water storage tank at Disheg is on-going. The GoK Geologist made an evaluation of the non-functional Hadado borehole and found that the borehole needs rehabilitation.

The week was dry but cold. There is enough water both for livestock and human, but forage and browse is decreasing. The early planted maize is in the green stage while some farmers are harvesting beans. The yields are lower than expected due to shortage of rains and late planted maize is reported to be wilting.

Animals are in good conditions and hence their prices are high, milk is available although its supply is expected to drop during the current gestation period.

WFP relief supplies for the month of June, have been received in all centers except one and FHI is co-ordinating the distribution. GoK did not distribute any relief food during the week.

The non-availability and high prices of cereals in most areas is expected to improve following bean harvesting in some rainfed areas. Rains are needed is this crucial stage of crop maturity when extended water stress can result to crop failure.

Close monitoring of the situation will be carried out and reported promptly.